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 |  Aug 10 2010, 4:56 PM


Day 5 of the MINI Takes The States Tour saw me back in the Clubman for one final jaunt, with a relatively uneventful drive from Columbus to Indianapolis. A back road detour had us on a road worthy of a car commercial, freshly paved in black asphalt, winding through various Ohio cornfields and small towns. But the best was yet to come, as I was about to get my chance to lap the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Although it was officially a slow speed “parade lap”, I found a way around that and was able to experience the joys of going flat out around an oval – or a reasonable facsimile of it.

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 |  Aug 08 2010, 5:44 PM

Day 3 of the MINI Takes The States Tour placed a big emphasis on driving. Not the kind of stop and go commuter traffic that we experienced in New York, Philly and Baltimore, but on the kind of high performance spirited driving that MINIs are known for.

Don’t get me wrong – as much as auto writers posture about blasting across twisty blacktop or exiting a corner on a road course with the wheel cranked at full lock, they know somewhere deep down they understand that their audience wants to know how the car does in the daily grind of traffic, gas mileage and all the unglamorous stuff left to plebian drivers. These are the conditions where we drive our press cars 95% of the time; stuck in a barely moving single file row of other cars, belching greenhouse emissions, A/C cranked and the same Lady GaGa song playing across the same 5 radio stations owned by one media conglomerate.

If you’re test driving a mid-size sedan, then the review will be centered on these conditions. But if you’re in something a bit sportier, you’ll go to bed a little earlier on a Friday night and maybe not go to the bar with your buddies. The alarm will be set for an ungodly hour, but you won’t need that double batch of morning coffee, because the urgency will be there. It’s like Christmas morning even though the August humidity is just starting to creep into your day. Today was one of those days.

Hit the jump to see how it all went down:

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